BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #141 – Anti-Heroes #3 is here!

I was thrilled to get a very special package in my mailbox the other day — A gorgeous, shiny new copy of JC Etheredge’s Anti-Heroes #3.  I was so excited because this was something I had long been looking forward to.

Anti-Heroes #3 was an absolute blast.  The art is some of the best JC has produced for the series so far and the writing is extremely entertaining.  This third issue has all the humor you might expect, but it also offers a very cool look at Caleb’s past.  And beware the Bomb Squad!!  The Villains of the issue turn out to have some very interesting ties and shall we say, effects on our 3 beloved Anti-Heroes.  Wrapped up in a very slick and THICK, gorgeously printed book complete with some awesome 3D pages and 3D glasses, this book is a crown jewel in my collection of male erotic comics.

I fired a few questions JC’s way the moment I finished reading issue #3. Figured we’d all enjoy a little one on one with the mastermind behind the Anti-Heroes. And be sure to rush on over to the Anti-Heroes website and get your very own copy of Anti-Heroes #3… and heck, if you haven’t done so yet, why not grab issues #1 and #2!

BOYTOONS MAGAZINE: Anti-Heroes #3 has just come out, and having just read it, I can honestly say it was my favorite issue from the series so far.  Your art is gorgeous, sexy and fun, and the printing of the book is superb.  It also seems to me that issue #3 has more penis actual sex content (and I am SOOOOOO not complaining!) than #1 and #2.  What prompted you to include more naughtiness and do you see that escalating even further in future issues?

JC ETHEREDGE:
Thanks, it’s my favorite one as well. It was so long in the making that I made for SURE it was going to be best yet. At first, book 3 had limited nudity, as in my first 2 issues. But that just wasn’t doing anything for me. It wasn’t sexy enough. So, I thought back to why I covered up the characters more in the first 2 issues and the only reason I could remember was that I was just simply embarrassed to show full-frontal in a published work. I’ve since gotten over that hang-up and basically realized I really need to embrace what my work is known for.

The other reason I decided to go more porny is kinda you, Patrick! (haha) Or more specifically, the sudden boom in gay erotic art. I’m noticing more and more extremely talented artists working in our genre, producing some really great raunchy work. By not showing so much nudity, I began thinking that I was kinda falling behind the curve. So I went back and redrew a lot of book 3, making it more sexy… i.e. adding more dong!

BTM: We learn a lot about Caleb in this issue, which is very cool, and without giving too much away, I think it’s safe to say that a good deal of his past is revealed.  The issue also focuses on him a great deal. Was it tricky finding a balance between the humor, the sexiness and the substance of the story, especially where exposition is concerned, or do you find that as a writer, you are able to blend all of this stuff without much effort?

JC: Yep, this is the Caleb ish. It’s important for me to reveal major elements of a character’s past early on. It helps me get a real grasp on the character. I know you’ve heard this before, but the characters seem to write themselves. Once I have a vague idea of what I want to happen, interactions and dialogue come really easy. For the most part, the humor comes naturally too. Every once in a while, I’ll ask my partner– “hey think of a joke for such and such situation.” We have a similar sense of humor so most of the time he’s right on the mark with his suggestions. He’s the one who came up with all the jokes around Binky, the helper monkey. As far as the porniness– yeah, I have to admit, it’s a bit of a process coming up with reasons to have these guys exposed so often!

BTM: Does one particular Anti-Hero come more naturally to you?  Is it easier to write one over the others… I guess what I am asking is, do you find you favor any 1 Anti-Hero more than the others?  Why?

JC: Zeke’s the one I’ve drawn the longest and is thusly my favorite.  But he is also the one who is most challenging to write. Because of what I want to do with his past (which I want to reveal in #4,) he is full of contradictions. So sometimes the most obvious approach with him isn’t want I end up going with. Tai and Caleb come a little easier because I end up calling on two basic sides of my own personality.

Tai’s the immature kid in me while Caleb’s the rational adult. As a unit, the Anti-Heroes’ general attitude toward things is really like mine. They say and do the things I wish I could!

BTM: The format of this book is radically different from the first 2 issues?  It looks fabulous and very slick.  What prompted you to make this change in format?  And what made you decide to include some 3D pages in the book?

JC: All hastily planned after-thoughts! haha! Redrawing the book, doubling the number of Splash Pages, and adding a few 3D Splash Pages made my page count a little higher than the first two issues. I kinda forced myself to go with perfect-binding. It put a hurting on my wallet, but I couldn’t accept anything else. Saddle-Stitching would have worked but the thickness of the pages would have made the book buckle into itself too much.

The 3D idea came from some good friends of mine, all artists. One does traditional illustration and design and it was actually her idea. Both of our spouses work in CG and knew what was needed to make flat 2D images work with the anaglyphic 3D glasses. Basically, they took my flat art and rebuilt it in Maya (a CG modeling / animation program.) Then they rendered it out for anaglyphic 3D. Of course, I had to go in and tweak the final images in Photoshop but that was nothing compared to the initial effort they put into it. I’m very grateful to have awesome, intelligent, artistic friends!


BTM: You color your own stuff beautifully, but for this issue, you called upon Silvano to do the colors, which he did remarkably well.  What was that like for you?  Did you enjoy working with a colorist, and how did the process flow?

JC: Silvano is an amazing artist whose own erotic artwork should be coming our way very soon! I am totally in awe of his stuff and am a little self-conscious to have him coloring my drawings. But he has absolutely no ego about how good he is, and just works like the professional he is.

What amazes me about this guy is the speed at which he works. He turned out the entire book in less than 2 weeks! He also sees eye-to- eye with me when I describe what I want, so I never have to ask him to redo anything. I’ll say this, working with him was easily the most pleasant aspect of getting this book out. Almost everyone else I’ve had to deal with has caused me so much stress that there have been times when I just wanted to give up. So it’s refreshing to work with a real professional.

BTM: I absolutely adored Anti-Heroes #3, but I was sad when I got to the end because, being the greedy little fan-boy I am, I wanted more!  LOL!  Can we expect an Anti-Heroes #4 soon, and if so, what sort of things can we look forward to happening in it?

JC: Aw– haha! Dude, if I could, I’d have #4 in your hands right now!  But I don’t wanna say when I’ll have it done, because I’ll not have it in time. With 4, I want to reveal Zeke’s past as well as culminate what I’ve been setting up with the recurring side characters (Cassio, Toni, Bug.) Cassio and Zeke will have a rematch and the rest of the Anti-Heroes will deal with Bug and Toni. I’m still working on the script, but what’s definitely set in stone is that Zeke has a hitherto unrevealed stronger form much like “Super Semen” Tai and “Power Suit Caleb.” I can’t tell you what that form will look like, but if you think about it, I feel like it might be kinda obvious.

BTM: Are there any other projects of yours we should be on the lookout for?

JC: I’m working on putting Phase 2 of my websoap, Persuasions online and also still tinkering with Omega Phi, which I want to be another printed book, but not in the traditional comic-style format. Both of those series’ have a definite foreseeable END in my mind, unlike Anti- Heroes, which I want to do indefinitely. I’m almost sold-out of issues 1 & 2 and figure once that happens, I’ll offer them as downloadable content on my website. I know there’s a lot of folks who prefer online media, so they’ll be pleased to hear that. In the meantime, stay tuned to my blog and anti-heroes.net for more individual pieces and updates!

BTM: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat, JC!  I really appreciate your time, and am always looking forward to your latest projects!

JC: And thanks so much for giving me another cover story, Patrick! You know better than anyone what an influence and inspiration you’ve been to me! Long live Boytoons!


Anti Heroes © Copyright and TM 2008, Clydeworld Comics.  All rights reserved.

All illustrations © Copyright and TM 2008, JC Etheredge.  All rights reserved.
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